The groundbreaking of the P100 million Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (CEMREID) at the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City was held Monday morning, September 13.
The groundbreaking was led by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Rep. Francisco Benitez (Negros Occidental, 3rd District).
The center that costs P100 million is jointly funded by the provincial government of Negros Occidental and the DOH Health Facilities Enhancement Program through the Office of the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Bong Go.
Lacson said that the COVID-19 pandemic as a global health crisis has stretched the health systems beyond their capacity and exposed the weaknesses of health systems worldwide, and as such, responding to a public health emergency and minimizing its impact require every health resource to be maximized.
“We extend our sincerest appreciation and gratitude to the good senator for his solid support to this ambitious and progressive project of the province that will bridge critical gaps in our hospital and emergency service,” Lacson said.
Benitez also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and Go for helping Negros Occidental to strengthen its health care system.
Through the center Negros Occidental will be more equipped to mitigate the COVID-19 threat, and control seasonal outbreaks of dengue, leptospirosis and malaria, he added.
The governor said that with the center, TLJPH can serve both infectious and clean cases simultaneously, and it will have its own emergency room, operating room, delivery room, and intensive care unit (ICU) aside from isolation rooms.
In a video message, Go acknowledged the effort of the provincial government of Negros Occidental for the contribution and effort in facilitating the establishment of the CEMREID.
The project is another testament that both the national and local governments are aggressively responding to address the need to expand medical-related service, and upgrade our health facilities as well, Go said.
Also present in the activity were Board Members Ryan Gamboa, Manuel Frederick Ko, Araceli Somosa, and Andrew Montelibano, Provincial Administrator. Rayfrando Diaz, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, former Bacolod vice mayor Thaddy Sayson, Homer Bais, TLJPH Chief of Hospital, Dr. Mary Ann Maestral, and capitol departments heads and chiefs of provincial government-run hospitals.
The governor also checked on the upgraded oxygen plant at the provincial hospital, saying the demand for oxygen is expected to increase, especially among COVID-19 patients.*